Peter Feigin

Central Notes: Fiserv Forum, Pacers, Avdija, Hayward

Bucks team president Peter Feigin has indicated that the club will not allow any fans into its home arena Fiserv Forum for the start of the 2020/21 NBA season due to strict indoor gathering restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Jabari Young of CNBC. Once fans are allowed inside Fiserv, the arena will exclusively employ mobile ticketing and concessions ordering, per Feigin.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files details how the Pacers have approached the 2020 draft while dealing with coronavirus pandemic-dictated hurdles. The club has used Zoom for weekly “town halls” as well as interviewing over 100 draft prospects. Though the league permitted teams to travel to see up to 10 individual player workouts, the Pacers opted to stay all-virtual this season, Agness notes.
  • The Cavaliers have deep organizational ties with international lottery prospect Deni Avdija. Chris Fedor of wonders whether this could ultimately lead to Cleveland using the No. 5 pick in today’s draft to select the 6’9″ wing.
  • Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files tweets that there is “mutual interest” between Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, beloved for his college tenure at Butler, and the Pacers. The clearest path to adding the former All-Star would be a sign-and-trade, which would require Hayward opting out of his $34.2MM player option for the 2020/21 season.

Middleton Hopes To Play Long-Term With Bucks

Khris Middleton feels appreciated by the Bucks’ management team and hopes to play in Milwaukee beyond his current deal, he told Michael Scotto of The Athletic. Middleton has two years and $26MM remaining on his contract, with a player option in that final year. During the process in which Mike Budenholzer was hired as head coach, Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo were invited to a breakfast with the ex-Hawks coach.

“They want me to be there long-term. They brought it to my attention that they wanted me to be a part of the process,” Middleton said. “That’s a huge thing for me. It makes me feel comfortable. It makes me want to be there longer.”

Some other nuggets from Scotto’s story:

  • Budenholzer will emphasize player and ball movement over isolation plays. That should help take some of the scoring burden off of Antetokounmpo and Middleton.
  • Co-owner Jamie Dinan is impressed by the way Budenholzer takes responsibility for a team’s success or failure. “He basically said a poor coach blames his players,” Dinan said. “He says, ‘I think I can get the most out of my players, and you’d be amazed at how good, if you motivate people, that they can actually be.’”
  • Middleton has toured the team’s new arena, slated to open next season, and gives it a big thumbs up. “It’s top-notch and first class. The locker rooms are amazing,” he said. “I gave Peter Feigin, our president, a little bit of grief about the visiting locker rooms being nice, too. They can’t be this nice in the arena.”

And-Ones: D-League, Bucks, Cuban, Faried

NBA teams can retain the D-League rights to as many as four of the players they cut at the end of the preseason, up from the previous limit of three, Hoops Rumors has learned. Still, if a team keeps the D-League rights to fewer than four such players, it can claim the D-League rights of someone it waives during the regular season, another new wrinkle that Gino Pilato of D-League Digest reported last month. Such decisions are among the many that teams will have to make around the end of the month, when they face rookie scale extension and option deadlines and must set their regular season rosters. Here’s more from around the NBA as those key dates approach.

  • The Bucks have hired Deluxe Entertainment Services Group executive Peter Feigin as team president, the club announced. It appears as though he’ll handle business affairs for the Bucks while GM John Hammond will continue to run the team’s basketball operations.
  • Mavs owner Mark Cuban downplayed the financial impact the league’s new TV deal will have on teams, but he suggested that the majority of owners won’t attempt to “cry poor” when they negotiate the next collective bargaining agreement with players. Jeff Caplan of has the details, including Cuban’s prediction that most players won’t seek one-year deals this summer in an effort to time their free agencies with an influx of TV money in the summer of 2016.
  • Kenneth Faried must continue his development and become a star to make his four-year, $50MM extension worthwhile for the Nuggets, argues Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post, who’s loath to bet against the power forward after a year of rapid growth.